I was walking along the promenade in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Stretched in front of me were vendor after vendor selling to the evening crowds. I love cake. At one table, a woman and her family had the most amazing cakes for sale. I bought a slice of the chocolate one and sat across from them to enjoy it. Afterwards I watched as between busy periods the woman and her spouse were close together.
This couple made decisions that saw them together night after night on the promenade. With their sons. You too have choices about how you want to grow and operate your business.
For many entrepreneurs this is a surprise. Popular media and much of the business press focuses almost exclusively on high growth businesses. It is exciting to be part of a growing business. As an entrepreneur with your own business you can decide how and why you want to grow.
Do you want top line growth (revenue) or bottom line growth (profit) or both? Why start a business unless you are going to make money? Focus on growing the revenue of your company, but equally focus on growing the profits. Building sustained profitable competitive advantage over time ensures that you will both be in business and making money for a long time.
Pay Yourself First
You should be paying yourself a market salary for the work you do. Be objective about this. You bring many special skills to your business. You should be compensated for those. I have met numerous entrepreneurs that are proud of how they employ and look after many employees, yet pay themselves almost no salary. Your business needs to be profitable while paying you a fair wage.
The Mexican couple I saw on the promenade could have made more money if they opened two stands on the promenade. If they did that, they wouldn’t have had time together every evening. What is important to you in your life that your business needs to support? Are you getting enough time with your family? Are you making sure that you take holidays, getting completely away from the business so that you can refresh and recharge yourself?
As an entrepreneur, you are the biggest impediment to the growth of your company. When looking at how you want to grow your business, look first at what you need to do to grow yourself. What mentors or coaches are helping to push you to the next level? Have you booked at least one learning event for yourself this year? What book are you reading with your senior management team this quarter? Choose your own growth so that you can grow your company. It is your choice.
If you are like me, you can have your cake and eat it too.
Tags: change, choice, profit